Freedom to Break the Laws
Van Inwagen (Peter)
Source: Midwest Studies in Philosophy (Vol XXVIII): 334-350 (2004)
Paper - Abstract

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Author’s Introduction

  1. Philosophers are unable to agree about free will.
    1. Some are determinists who deny free will, some determinists who affirm free will.
    2. Some philosophers think that free will is incompatible with determinism and with indeterminism — and hence that free will is impossible — while others say that we are free and that our free actions are and must be undetermined; yet others say that we are free and that our free actions are and must be determined.
    3. Some philosophers believe that acts of free will involve a special kind of causation1, agent causation2 (whereby a substance causes alterations in the world without itself undergoing any alteration), and others respond to appeals to agent causation3 with incredulous stares.
    4. Some say that free will is an unintelligible notion, and others say that, whether the thing free will exists or not, the concept “free will” is a paradigm of intelligibility.
    5. Some say that although free will is incompatible with determinism, this fact is of little consequence because moral responsibility (which is what is really at issue in debates about free will) is compatible with determinism; their opponents reply that it is evident that moral responsibility cannot exist without free will.
  2. I could go on, but I trust I have made my point: the problem of free will is a typical philosophical problem.

Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)

  1. Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2018
  2. Mauve: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); © the author(s)



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